The Little Things Campaign
The GAA and the HSE are working in partnership to bring the messages of protection, resilience and support for mental wellness to local communities.
Both organisations are keen to increase their efforts to normalise the conversation around mental health. In this regard the GAA selected the 2016 GAA Health & Wellbeing Theme Day, at the second All Ireland Football semi-final that took place in Croke Park on August 28th, as another way to promote the HSE #littlethings using the strap line “Little Things can improve your game”.
The #littlethings campaign highlights that we all experience difficult times in our lives, and that when we do, there are some evidence-based little things that can make a big difference to how we feel.
Partnering with the GAA for their theme day provided a highly visible and exciting way to encourage and normalise discussion around mental health and fitness. By placing that discussion in a familiar sporting environment, people were more receptive to the messages and stories about mental health. Building personal as well as community resilience and empowering people to reach out for support when needed is an important protective factor for mental health.
#LittleThings you can Do
Here are the #littlethings that can make a big difference to our mental health and our wellbeing:
Keeping Active – being active every day, something as simple as a walk, is proven to have a positive impact on your mood.
- Talking about your problems – problems feel smaller when they are shared with others, without having to be solved or fixed. Just talking about it will do you good.
- Looking out for others – Lending an ear to someone else in trouble, or catching up with someone who seems distant, can change their day, or their lives. You don't have to fix it for them - just listening is a huge help.
- Doing things with others – Taking part in a group activity that you enjoy is proven to have a positive impact on how you feel, be it a game of football, joining a choir, volunteering.
- Eating healthily – A regular healthy, balanced and nutritious diet will help both your physical, but also your mental health, and have a positive impact on how you feel.
- Staying in touch – Catching up with friends and family is good for our mental health, reminding us that we're part of a community, and having a positive impact on how we feel.
- Drinking less alcohol – For the average Irish drinker, reducing alcohol will have a positive impact on their health and mental wellbeing, making it easier to cope with day to day difficulties and stresses.
- Sleeping well – Getting a good night's sleep of 7 or 8 hours, as often as you can, will have a positive impact on how you feel. Protect your sleep if you can, it will do you good.